The teenage defender’s transfer to the high-spending Chelsea during the summer of 2022 was extensively rumoured, but it never happened.
Gvardiol stated in an interview with The Times how close he came to moving to Stamford Bridge and his disappointment that the move did not materialize:
“I was really confused because one month before the window starts I was upstairs with the sporting director and he says, ‘Yeah Josko, we are not going to sell you, we need you, we believe in you,’ and I was like ok I am fine with this, I can stay here, I like it here, all I need is to work on myself, to play, to win something else. It was like this until the last two days.
“My agent called me and said that Chelsea is extremely interested and, of course, you definitely think about a serious offer from a huge club like Chelsea. Leipzig said they didn’t want to sell me. In the end I really struggled with that decision but we didn’t make an agreement.
“It is what it is. I am here and I am fine with this because my idea had been to stay here. One season was not enough. This is my second season, even one more season would be great but we will see.”
Since that failed trade, Chelsea has gone out and acquired another highly-rated teenage defender from Ligue 1 team Monaco in the form of Benoit Badiashile.